Manufacturer Recalls for September 2021
In the last couple of months, the limelight on recall news was focused on Chevy Bolt EV and EUV. Chevy was left in a fix as many of these EVs caught fire in the recent past. There is more than just GM news in this section though.
Despite two recalls in the past couple of years, GM could not find a fix for the issue that arose out of a faulty battery pack. This EV trouble has put GM as well as LG Chem, the battery manufacturer is a tough spot. To make matters worse, two more fires were reported in the last month, one in Georgia, US, and the other in California, US. Luckily, both events did not result in any injuries but some collateral damage was done before the fire was extinguished. These vehicles are now considered to be such a huge fire risk that an outdoor parking facility has reportedly prohibited Bolt EV and EUV users from parking in their facility. GM themselves have asked the owners of these vehicles to park at least 50 feet away from other vehicles.
But it is not all bad news. The $1.8 billion recall did hit GM hard but that has not stopped them from expediting the process. GM has now announced that the battery production for the Bolts has restarted. Apparently, GM and LG have sorted out the issue that was causing the battery fires. The restarted production line will prioritize battery replacements of the existing cars.
The new batteries will come with a long warranty of 8 years/100,000 miles warranty. They have also rolled out battery diagnostic software that alerts when there is anything suspicious going on inside the battery while charging or discharging. Until the batteries are replaced, the owners of the Bolt EV and EUV are advised to follow the current protocol. This includes not charging beyond 90%, not allowing the battery to discharge below a range of 70 miles, parking outside, and not leaving the vehicle unattended while charging.
Hyundai issues a recall for more than 100,000 Sonata Hybrid sedans and Tucson (non-Hybrid) crossovers from 2017. This is triggered by possible engine defects suspected in these vehicles. These vehicles are fitted with Hyundai’s 2.0-litre “Nu” engine. The rod bearings in these engines can fail and cause the engine to fail, or in extreme cases, start an engine fire. Customers of the affected vehicles will be notified by Hyundai. If found to have defective parts, these vehicles will have their engines changed.
Following Hyundai is their sister company, Kia, recalling 88,576 Kia Carnivals from 2017. The reason behind this recall is rather funny, as these minivans are unable to separate right from left. In these Carnivals, turning the turn signal lever to a direction may cause the opposite signal to blink. The fault is found to lie with a Smart Junction Box where a software logic issue mixes up the signals coming from the stalk. The fix is to update the software.
Just when you thought that the Takata airbag recall waves have subsided, more news arrive. NHTSA is probing into 30 million vehicles from several brands to spot defective inflators. The vehicles include the ones made by Honda, Ford, Toyota, Subaru, Tesla, GM, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler AG, Nissan, Mazda, JLR, Porsche, and Ferrari. As per NHTSA, these vehicles include the ones with the defective inflators as well as the ones that were recalled before. The Takata recall has already affected more than 100 million vehicles worldwide. Reuters reports NHTSA saying “While no present safety risk has been identified, further work is needed to evaluate the future risk of non-recalled desiccated inflators. Further study is needed to assess the long-term safety of desiccated inflators.” So, we will not be surprised if large recall news tied to this investigation pops up in the coming months.
Despite being dominated by GM’s battery woes for another month, the recall news section does show some action. Stay tuned to this section for more updates on the ongoing investigations as well as new recalls.
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